There are an unbelievable number of classes available to Londoners these days. You can cycle like a psycho, ask a guy called Barry to make you run in a disco, get your core collected, have someone find your form, and now if there's one of you..you can become a rebel.
There are some amazing class set-ups and then there are some fads to you get you through the door with pretty lighting, iced towels and a DJ. It all depends what's right for you and what gets you off the couch. But there are standards, some things you need to keep an eye out for to make sure you're getting your money's worth.
My brother and I have been PTing and teaching classes for 7 years between us and we know what needs to be delivered. There are rules of a class that are consistent throughout any discipline whether it be a pilates class in Mayfair to a Boxing class in Notting Hill. The studio has to adhere to these to get their class just right. And you know what, sometimes we all miss the mark. Here's our little guide to choosing the perfect class for you:
The concept: What's the gig? What is the class about and what is it delivering? Don't just turn up to up a class because some attention seeking instagram filterfumbler told you to. More often than not they're being paid to say that so make up your own mind. Things to think about - is the class functional, fitness orientated and going to improve my life and mindset? Not, will I feature in Grazia if I wear my new leggings. At Equilibrium we teach TRX Classes. Utterly functional, mixing strength, speed, power, cardio and core training at its best. We teach it because we BELIEVE in it and have spent over 12,000 hours perfecting that craft.
The Trainer: They have to be experienced, that's key. Experienced doesn't mean in their 50s but experienced in using the techniques they're going to be teaching to YOU. A lot of trainers in these classes have been taught over a number of weeks and never really learn to appreciate the quality of the class because in all fairness to them, it's not their business, they're getting £20/hr so the enthusiasm drops slightly. You can sense this as a client. They have to be passionate, energetic and, what's key for me and Jay, completely client focused.
Difficulty: There's a crusty old concept in fitness called SMART. The A stands for achievable and it's totally right. Without the right intensity it all falls down; and it applies to both sides of the spectrum. I've watched trainers annihilate the fittest people in class so much so that self doubt creeps over them, that's not good, not good at all. Then on the flip side when it's too easy it's a waste of time, there's been no improvement or progression so the client gets frustrated. We've got a secret formula for this...I'm not telling you! Get to class.
The Playlist: Now this is a tough one. Not everyone likes everyone else's music but I love it when the trainer puts some time and effort into the playlist. At least it will pick them up mid class, create rhythms and speed for peaks and troughs of the exercise intensity.
The Studio: This has be be right. Designed perfectly to allow the client to maximise their workout. We've spent good money on the flooring, the equipment and the air conditioning to make sure our clients can focus on the workout, not on if they're going to bump into a wall or knock a panel off a suspended ceiling. Clean bathrooms and showers are fairly useful tools for client satisfaction too!!
I could go on and on about what to look out for, but i'll leave you with one final test for the class that you're attending. And if the studio you're currently attending mess this up, email us and we'll give you a free class...are you ready?
Do they know your name when you walk in?
Niko Algieri - Director